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Criminal process and fairness

Alexander has been living in Finland over 10 years and he had a work permission. Unfortunately his employer went bankrupt and the authorities did not allow Alexander to work –although the other job included similar tasks as the previous one. Alexander was expelled because of a small infringement. With help of Nikula, Alexander got a new work permission. But his problems did not end.

Alexander had bought an old estate where the seller had left old oil barrels, broken washing machine and other waste and scrap. The seller did nothing to those objects, and so Alexander did remove them from his yard. The seller made a complaint to the police, and the prosecutor took the case and prosecuted Alexander for theft. The district court did find Alexander guilty.

Nikula has submitted a complaint to the National Prosecution Authority concerning the prosecutor’s actions. The prosecutor had left out the details in favour of the accused, eg. the environmental harm caused by old oil barrels, claimed that the value of hazardous waste is the same as the value of scrap iron. The prosecutor has acted as a representative of the plaintiff. Nikula has regarded the prosecutor to have acted contrary the Ethical Code for Prosecutors adopted in the United Nations Congress in Havanna in 1990. The task of a prosecutor is to protect human rights and to strive to ensure the fairness of criminal proceedings.

According to Nikula a well-known and wealthy person cannot be any more ”justified” than a person who has lost his job, has financial difficulties and speaks Russian as his mother tongue.

The decision and the process of the district court has been referred to the Court of Appeal –and also to the prosecution authorities.

Pro Bono - Domestic violence & divorce

Sari was born in the 1960’s. She is a beautiful tiny lady with long, blond, curly hair. Sari fell in love with Tero, her husband-to-be. They both have a university level master’s degree. They had good jobs. The couple got married. Things seem to go on well, and they had two children. Tero was very authorative at home and presumably unfaithfull.  Sari forgave everything and wanted to build a nice life to their children.

in the beginning of the 21st century, Sari’s hearing began to get worse and she was given hearing aids.

The loss of her hearing affected greatly to Sari’s work tasks as she dealt with customer service. Her employer dismissed Sari’s employment for financial reasons. Sari focused on her family and had occasional work periods. Her husband didn’t allow Sari to go to work in the Northern Finland – even though she could have spent the weekends with the family.

The employment remuneration ended. Sari had to ask Tero to pay the food and clothes for the children. Tero didn’t want to give money. Tero was also sexually demanding. Because of her difficult situation (loss of hearing, unemployment) Sari didn’t want to be with Tero. One morning Tero attacked Sari .... their daughter was at home and heard everything. Sari went to see the doctor and got a certificate but found the situation difficult – after all, Tero was the father of her children.

After the rape, their daughter began to be afraid of her father. Sari and her daughter left home for the nearby women’s shelter.  They took only some clothes with them. Soon Tero changed the locks to doors of their house, and informed their son that he should not let his mother inside. All furniture, clothes, personal items, decorative things and gifts, even Sari’s personal laptop were left in the house. Also the daughter’s pet guinea pigs whose well-being was a great concern to the little girl.

In the safe house, Sari began to look for a home for her and her daughter. The rent demands were high. With the help of her parents, Sari succeeded in getting a nice place for the 2 of them. Beds and other furniture, dishes, clothes, everything had to be bought. The financial situation was difficult and tight. Tero put more pressure on her by sending text messages and black plastic sacs full of clothes that were dirty of food. He even sent Sari a TV – although it was broken.

Tero lived and lives even now in the house owned by him and Sari (50/50).  That man has not paid Sari a dime for the maintenance of their daughter nor any compensation for occupying the house. The situation has been going on for years. The purpose of the financial suppression can be assumed. Most likely he has wanted Sari to conclude a divorce agreement that she is unwilling to make.

Tero has not let any real estate agent suggested by Sari to estimate the house he is living in. In stead, he invited an agent to visit and gave incorrect information to the agent who wrote an evaluation undermining the value of the house. Sari has suffered mentally and physically and financially.

The municipal legal aid lawyer is representing Sari in the divorce case.

Nikula has helped Sari in the criminal case – it is about unlawful capture of one’s property and assault. The long process, fear, anxiety, and financial paucity have affected Sari’s health. She has her daugher, friends and Nikula to help her.

The preliminary criminal investigation (checking out things, achieving proof, drafting of criminal complaint to the police) have caused costs and expenses Sari cannot pay. A large part of the lawyer’s fees, costs and expenses are not compensated from the State legal aid funds. After the police investigation, there will be a long criminal process against the person supposed to be guilty.

The pursued finance:              20.000 euro

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Nikula Legal Ltd began its Pro Bono work in the 1990’s when the consequences of the deep economic depression affected the functions of enterprises and the over-all situation of individuals. Nikula is capable to take only a restricted amount of Pro Bono cases. Nikula Pro Bono Fund is supported by Nikula Legal Ltd and Anne Nikula.

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